Nernst effect in high- Tc superconductors

Yayu Wang, Lu Li, N. P. Ong

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588 Scopus citations


The observation of a large Nernst signal eN in an extended region above the critical temperature Tc in hole-doped cuprates provides evidence that vortex excitations survive above Tc. The results support the scenario that superfluidity vanishes because long-range phase coherence is destroyed by thermally created vortices (in zero field) and that the pair condensate extends high into the pseudogap state in the underdoped (UD) regime. We present a series of measurements to high fields H which provide strong evidence for this phase-disordering scenario. Measurements of eN in fields H up to 45 T reveal that the vortex Nernst signal has a characteristic "tilted-hill" profile, which is qualitatively distinct from that of quasiparticles. The hill profile, which is observed above and below Tc, underscores the continuity between the vortex-liquid state below Tc and the Nernst region above Tc. The upper critical field (depairing field) Hc2 determined by the hill profile (in slightly UD to overdoped samples) displays an anomalously weak T dependence, which is consistent with the phase-disordering scenario. We contrast the Nernst results and Hc2 behavior in hole-doped and electron-doped cuprates. Contour plots of eN (T,H) in the T - H plane clearly bring out the continuous extension of the low- T vortex liquid state into the high- T Nernst region in hole-doped cuprates (but not in the electron-doped cuprate). The existence of an enhanced diamagnetic magnetization M that survives to intense H above Tc is obtained from torque magnetometry. The observed M scales accurately like eN above Tc, confirming that the large Nernst signal is associated with local diamagnetic supercurrents that persist above Tc. We emphasize implications of the new features in the phase diagram implied by the high-field results and discuss relevant theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024510
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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